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$1.8b Novo Nordisk facility sign of growing diabetes market

Novo Nordisk has announced it will spend $1.8 billion on a new facility to produce active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for its current and future insulin and GLP-1 medicines.

The plant will cover an area the size of seven football pitches, and will be built next to an existing site, roughly half the size, that also manufactures diabetes medicines for the company.

$150 billion market

The investment comes as new research shows that, globally and for the first time, more people are obese than are underweight. The study found that between 1974 and 2014, obesity doubled in women and tripled in men.

We have reported, as have other analysts, that increasing prevalence of obesity will contribute to rapid growth in the market for diabetes treatments:

“…the market will undergo substantial growth between 2012 and 2022, more than doubling over this period. The main drivers of growth will be the dramatic increase in disease prevalence and physicians’ efforts to delay disease progression and reduce the costly burden of diabetic complications through the use of combination therapies and novel branded drugs.”

Novo Nordisk is seeking to cement its lead in a global market that’s estimated to be worth around $150 billion, including both therapeutics and diagnostics.

At the groundbreaking ceremony in Clayton, North Carolina, President and CEO Lars Rebien Sørensen stated:

“As the prevalence of diabetes has grown in the US, so too has the demand for effective treatments”. “[The new site] will play a vital role in enabling us to meet the needs of people living with diabetes in the US for years to come”.

On the same day, the company announced it would commence phase 3 development of type-2 diabetes treatment semaglutide, a GLP-1 analogue formulated as a once-daily tablet.